More problems for arena subcontractor; incident at site leads to firing of one employee

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WHAS11.com

Posted on May 24, 2009 at 5:51 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 15 at 3:46 PM

A Wilhelm Construction carpenter has been fired from the downtown arena project after an incident at the site Friday morning. Metro Police tell WHAS11's Joe Arnold that the worker struck his stepson, a laborer at the job site, several times on the arm with a piece of steel rebar.

A Wilhelm Construction spokesperson describes the incident as a domestic disturbance that spilled into the workplace The spokesperson says the incident hasno connection to construction work anddid not compromise the safety or quality of work at the project.

The laborer whowas struck with therebar was taken tothe hospital ina private vehicle, after refusing an ambulance, according to police. Metro Police add that the man alleged to have struck his stepson was upset that the stepson was on thejob on Friday. A police spokesperson says LMPD advisedthe stepson to swear out a warrant for the man's arrest after they say the man fled the scene.

The altercation comes three and a half weeks after a workplace accident at the arena site later blamed on Wilhelm Construction workers. Three workers were injured on April 27, one with a piece of steel rebar through his arm, when a portion of a concrete floor collapsed as the concrete was being poured. An internal investigation released on Monday concluded that Wilhelm Construction improperly and incompletelyinstalled the shoring for the concrete pour and failed to properly inspect their work.

A Wilhelm Construction worker who expressed quality control and safety concerns in an interview with WHAS11 was later laid off in a move Wilhelm said was a "general layoff" and not connected to the interview. The worker, Charlie Molen, has filed a grievance with the Laborers Union alleging that the layoff was in retaliation for his comments. WHAS11 has since learned that Molen is a candidate for union office with the same union.

An Arena Authority investigation into Molen's initial claims concluded that his complaints were unfounded.

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